Sex sells doesn't it?
When "Living Your Yoga" it's important to take time and reflect on why you do what you do. Why do you say what you say, act like you act and wear what you wear?
In the West, we are obsessed with the physical body. Unfortunately, that can make yoga very distorted for the practitioner. Taking care of your vessel through asana is only one limb on the 8 limb path. However, our culture understands yoga to be about cool clothes, hippie talk, stretching and posting cool shit online. This is not yoga.
Most Western practitioners don't even acknowledge anything past the physical practice of yoga. There's a funny language, stretching, some jewelry, meditation and that "om thing that may or may not conflict with my religion." Its crap really, and kind of embarrassing the way we treat yoga over here but at the end of the day, yoga changes peoples lives. Even if only on a physical level.
A good example of this is Savasana (corpse pose) taken at the end of class. In the East (where yoga originated) they begin practice with meditation and stillness, ending with rigorous asana. In the West, that would never work because people are so wound up and in their heads that the physical exertion must happen first. So we do things backwards.
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Long story short, sexualizing yoga with hot yoga pics on social media isn't doing us any favors, in fact its taking us farther away from what I would consider to be "real yoga."
However, I take notes from Iyengar on this subject. He is the yogi credited with bringing yoga to the West. You may have heard of a little book called "Light on Yoga" by B.K.S. Iyengar, which is a staple in most yoga teacher trainings.
Iyengar is the man you can thank when your shoulder is about to pop out of socket and you grab your yoga strap or when you are dying in triangle and reach for a yoga block. He's the prop guy. Is using a yoga block going to honor the exact same experience in a yoga pose that the original lineage did? No. But fuck it. Iyengar saw that props made yoga accessible to more people and that's a beautiful thing.
This is how I think of half naked yoga pics. It intimidates people and confuses our culture even more about yoga. BUT more people are doing yoga than ever before. I can't argue with those kinds of results. So ya, fuck it.
See a cool pic, get your butt to yoga, feel super cool and THEN find your humility and dress appropriately from there. Its a process. Its yoga.
+ I've linked up some epic yoga books that you may be interested in +
"Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life" is from my first teacher training and is the first yoga book I ever read. Its an absolutely lovely book and an easy read. I highly recommend it.
"Light On Yoga" breaks down just about every yoga pose under the sun. There is truly no other book that gives you the real deal pose in all its integrity. This is an important book and it is the resource my teachers use when they have a question about a pose.
"The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" is 196 Indian aphorisms that were complied by Sage Patanjali prior to 400 CE. Scholars consider this book to be one of the foundations of classical yoga philosophy. Basically, if you follow these sutras you will be pursuing the yogic path, however, it's no cake walk. People spend their entire lives trying to fully comprehend and embody these sutras. The good new is, most of the sutras are short and sweet which Patanjali did intentionally. The sutras are meant to be memorized. This book is a must have for anyone who wishes to truly embody the practice of yoga.